Campaigning for Nasrin Sotoudeh

ICJW is calling for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, who has been detained in Iran’s Evin Prison since June 2018. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer who has dedicated her life to safeguarding the rights of Iranians. Advocating for activists and political prisoners, especially those who have stood up for the rights of women and girls in Iran, she has been imprisoned four times since 2010. In 2018, as part of peaceful protests in Iran, some women removed their hijabs and waved them like flags and then were prosecuted for this behavior. For defending these women, Ms. Sotoudeh unjustly languishes in Evin prison, the facility notorious for abuse of prisoners in defiance of international human rights protocols. In March, 2019, Ms. Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. 

In April 2019, the Parliament of Canada called on the Government of Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh. The International Council of Jewish Women joins in solidarity with the Canadian Parliament, and with the European Parliament which protested her inhumane situation in December 2018. 

In May 2019, the ICJW Executive heard a lecture by Professor Irwin Cotler, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Montreal. He shared the work the Institute is doing to publicize and ultimately free women whose lives have been damaged for standing up for democratic values. In particular, he spoke about Nasrin Sotoudeh, who still tops the list of women suffering in prison. At that meeting, the ICJW committed to an advocacy campaign for Nasrin Sotoudeh.

In June 2019, ICJW appealed to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to protest her treatment. The Parliamentarians of Canada have also called on Iran to ratify the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In May 2020, ICJW repeated its advocacy to its member affiliates, and wrote to the Executive Director of UN Women, Mme Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to ask for her help. 

ICJW members are urged to write to the UN Secretary General and to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, protesting the treatment of Ms. Sotoudeh and urging her immediate release. The campaign is led by Debby Altow, ICJW Vice President for Canada,

Click here to download a sample letter that you can copy or rewrite as you see fit.